Revisiting the Packers-Jets Trade Involving Brett Favre

Former Packers QB Brett Favre
Former Packers QB Brett Favre / Steve Levin/Getty Images

Brett Favre's illustrious career with the Green Bay Packers -- during which he won a Super Bowl, three MVP awards, and set a slew of passing records -- came to an end in August of 2008 when he was traded to the New York Jets.

Folks will remember that Favre had previously announced his retirement that March, and the Packers had already decided to move forward with Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback. Favre's return took everybody by surprise, so Green Bay did reasonably well by getting something in return for the aging signal caller.

Packers-Jets Brett Favre Trade Details

Packers acquire: a conditional fourth-round pick

Jets acquire: Brett Favre

The conditional fourth-round pick could have morphed into a first-rounder if Favre took 80% of the offensive snaps and the Jets made the Super Bowl. That, of course, didn't happen. However, since Favre took at least 50% of the snaps that season, the fourth-rounder became a third-round pick (No. 83 overall). 

Green Bay ended up trading that pick, along with a second- and an additional third-rounder, to New England in exchange for a first- and fifth-round selection. The Packers used that acquired first-rounder on linebacker Clay Matthews, who went on to become one of the team’s most decorated defenders. 

Matthews was one of the most feared defensive forces in the NFL in the early 2010s. He made six Pro Bowls in a seven-year span. In his 10 years with Green Bay, Matthews produced 356 solo tackles, 83.5 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, 189 QB hits, 5 fumble recoveries, and 6 interceptions. That resume was capped with a Super Bowl title in 2010.

As for the Jets, the team finished 9-7 with Favre under center and fell short of the playoffs. Favre threw for over 3,400 yards with 22 touchdowns but had a league-leading 22 interceptions that year. The then-39 year-old quarterback would spurn retirement once more and sign with the Minnesota Vikings the following offseason.

Who Won the Trade?

Not only did Green Bay trade a declining Favre in favor of rolling with Rodgers at quarterback, but the team essentially unloaded the legend in exchange for another franchise icon in Matthews. The Favre-Packers divorce polarized the fanbase, but Rodgers led the team to a world championship less than two years after the marriage ended.

We'll go out on a limb and say that the Packers made out just fine here.